What Chris'mas Fetched The Wigginses

Wintertime, er Summertime,
Of late years I notice I'm,
Kindo'-like, more subjec' to
What the _weather_ is. Now, you
Folks 'at lives in town, I s'pose,
Thinks its bully when it snows;
But the chap 'at chops and hauls
Yer wood fer ye, and then stalls,
And snapps tuggs and swingletrees,
And then has to walk er freeze,
Haint so much 'stuck on' the snow
As stuck _in_ it--Bless ye, no!--
When its packed, and sleighin's good,
And _church_ in the neighborhood,
Them 'at's _got_ their girls, I guess,
Takes 'em, likely, more er less,
Tell the plain facts o' the case,
No men-folks about our place
On'y me and Pap--and he
'Lows 'at young folks' company
Allus made him sick! So I
Jes don't want, and jes don't try!
Chinkypin, the dad-burn town,
'S too fur off to loaf aroun'
Either day er night--and no
Law compellin' me to go!--
'Less 'n some Old-Settlers' Day,
Er big-doin's thataway--
_Then_, to tell the p'inted fac',
I've went more so's to come back
By old Guthrie's 'still-house, where
Minors _has_ got licker there--
That's pervidin' we could show 'em
Old folks sent fer it from home!
Visit roun' the neighbors some,
When the boys wants me to come.--
Coon-hunt with 'em; er set traps
Fer mussrats; er jes, perhaps,
Lay in roun' the stove, you know,
And parch corn, and let her snow!
Mostly, nights like these, you'll be
(Ef you' got a writ fer _me_)
Ap' to skeer me up, I guess,
In about the Wigginses.
Nothin' roun' _our_ place to keep
Me at home--with Pap asleep
'Fore it's dark; and Mother in
Mango pickles to her chin;
And the girls, all still as death,
Piecin' quilts.--Sence I drawed breath
Twenty year' ago, and heerd
Some girls whispern' so's it 'peared
Like they had a row o' pins
In their mouth--right there begins
My first rickollections, built
On that-air blame old piece-quilt!

Summertime, it's jes the same--
'Cause I've noticed,--and I claim,
As I said afore, I'm more
Subjec' to the weather, _shore_,
'Proachin' my majority,
Than I ever ust to be!
Callin' back _last_ Summer, say,--
Don't seem hardly past away--
With night closin' in, and all
S' lonesome-like in the dew-fail:
Bats--ad-drat their ugly muggs!--
Flickern' by; and lightnin'-bugs
Huckstern' roun' the airly night
Little sickly gasps o' light;--
Whip-poor-wills, like all possessed,
Moanin' out their mournfullest;--
Frogs and katydids and things
Jes clubs in and sings and sings
Their _ding-dangdest_!--Stock's all fed,
And Pap's washed his feet fer bed;--
Mother and the girls all down
At the milk-shed, foolin' roun'--
No wunder 'at I git blue,
And lite out--and so would you!
I caint stay aroun' no place
Whur they haint no livin' face:--
'Crost the fields and thue the gaps
Of the hills they's friends, perhaps,
Waitin' somers, 'at kin be
Kindo' comfertin' to me!

Neighbors all 'is plenty good,
Scattered thue this neighberhood;
Yit, of all, I like to jes
Drap in on the Wigginses.--
Old man, and old lady too,
'Pear-like, makes so much o' you--,
Least, they've allus pampered me
Like one of the fambily.--
The boys, too, 's all thataway--
Want you jes to come and stay;--
Price, and Chape, and Mandaville,
Poke, Chasteen, and 'Catfish Bill'--
Poke's the runt of all the rest,
But he's jes the beatinest
Little schemer, fer fourteen,
Anybody ever seen!--
'Like his namesake,' old man claims,
'Jeems K. Poke, the first o' names!
Full o' tricks and jokes--and you
Never know what _Poke's_ go' do!'
Genius, too, that-air boy is,
With them awk'ard hands o' his:
Gits this blame pokeberry-juice,
Er some stuff, fer ink--and goose-
Quill pen-p'ints: And then he'll draw
Dogdest pictures yevver saw!
Er make deers and eagles good
As a writin'-teacher could!
Then they's two twin boys they've riz
Of old Coonrod Wigginses
'At's deceast--and glad of it,
'Cause his widder's livin' yit!

Course _the boys_ is mostly jes'
Why I go to Wigginses.---
Though _Melviney_, sometimes, _she_
Gits her slate and algebry
And jes' sets there ciphern' thue
Sums old Ray hisse'f caint do!--
Jes' sets there, and tilts her chair
Forreds tel, 'pear-like, her hair
Jes' _spills_ in her lap--and then
She jes' dips it up again
With her hands, as white, I swan,
As the apern she's got on!

Talk o' hospitality!--
Go to Wigginses with me--
Overhet, or froze plum thue,
You'll find welcome waitin' you:--
Th'ow out yer tobacker 'fore
You set foot ac
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James Whitcomb Riley

James Whitcomb Riley was an American writer, poet, and best-selling author. During his lifetime he was known as the "Hoosier Poet" and "Children's Poet" for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively. more…

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"What Chris'mas Fetched The Wigginses" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 23 May 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/21173/what-chris'mas-fetched-the-wigginses>.

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